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Basics about Cigars
Smoking a good cigar is a matter of class and status. Choosing a good cigar can be a tricky one. If we are not cigar smokers than we might look for the best brands on the market, the brands that we usually see on movies or simply look for the best cigar deals online.
However, a good cigar can differ from one to another just like a good cup of coffee. It is all about the taste, and for that, we have to understand what and how makes the difference from one cigar to another. Our recommendation to you, if you are not sure what cigar you want, is to simply try few of them. There are plenty of great deals that allow you to taste few of them in the very same box.
5 things we must check
The Appearance and Construction of the cigar and its Flavor, and the three layers of tobacco, the Filler, Binder, and Wrapper.
1. Appearance and Construction
What is "a well constructed" Cigar?
It goes on the thin line that runs between spongy and solid. A well-constructed cigar is a matter of preference. However, you do not want to have it too spongy. Apart from having quality tobacco, it must be assembled properly with proper filling consistency.
The well-constructed cigar will light and burn evenly.
While deciding whether a specific brand was mild, medium or full is an easy one, choosing the right flavor we like can be a tricky one. Personally, I prefer a cigar that has many flavors rather than a mono-flavored throughout the whole smoke. It is all about your personal preference really but even our own preferences are kept on changing during the week (cigar for the office and cigar for the weekend pool party) or even during the day (cigar for a board meeting or for business dinner).
Flavor is influenced mainly by the three main layers - Filler, Binder, and Wrapper. However, each layer flavor is determined by the origin of the tobacco leaf. The tobacco leaf flavor is the reflection of the soil and climate conditions in which it is grown, therefore two different fields will never produce tobacco of the exact same flavor.
It is the heart of the cigar. The Filler layers take dominance over the blend of the cigar and influences on its flavor. Each leaf in a cigar makes a big impact on the cigar as a whole. Most famous brands use a different kind of tobacco in order to get a specific brand.
The filler is not only rolled with a different plant from different regions but also made from different parts of the plant itself. Top (Lingero), Meddle (Seco) and bottom (Volado) of the plant. The Lingero should be strong and stable while the Seco and the Volado should be dry and makes the cigar burn smoothly and evenly. If one will make a cigar out of the Volado only then it will burn super fast. At the same time if he will make a cigar using the Lingero leafs only then he should expect a very strong cigar that will burn real slow. Basically, there are two things that bring the cigar to a premium level. Hand roll and the Filler origin and combination.
Apart from location, there is another major difference between fillers. there are long fillers and short fillers. Long filler means that the leafs in the filler layers are whole leafs rolled by hand while short fillers are made up from small pieces of tobacco and are machine made. A cigar made by long leafs is more oily and will burn slower. The most famous Cuban Cigars are blended from different tobacco leafs that are grown in different parts of the country. The Cuban tobacco fillers usually come from the volcanic soil at Vuelto Abajo region. That special soil creates a very rich, spicy and very sweet taste.The filler must be packed evenly.
The leaf comes from the top part of the plant and influences the cigar`s flavor strongly. However, lingero is not a taste. it is the name of the top part of the plant and there for different plants that are grown in different locations will produce a different taste.
Comes from the middle part of the tobacco plant. Helps to reduce the influence of the Lingero leaf and makes the cigar more mild flavor.
The Volado gets the lowest amount of sunlight and therefore less oily and burns faster. All it does is making sure that the whole cigar is burning properly and evenly. A cigar with no Volado in its filler will not burn and will frustrate the smoker.
The Binder Layer takes control over the shape and sponginess of the cigar. The binder is essential for holding the filler layers together and in place. While the Filler and the Wrapper layers are determining the blend and flavor of the cigar. It is the binder that compresses the filler together and creating a smooth and clean surface for the wrapper leaf. The Binder and the Wrapper layers will determine whether we will enjoy the whole smoking experience or only its flavor.
Most cigars take their flavor from the wrapper leaf layer. The wrapper is usually the most expensive leaf to grow in the whole cigar as it must be grown in shade and must be monetized to make sure it is not getting too thick. A good wrapper must be smooth with very few veins.
Wrappers usually determine the cigar's unique character and flavor. There is seven common classification recognized by color difference. While Double Carlo and Carlo are the lightest the Maduro and Oscuro presents the darker leafs. It is because of the wrapper leaf we usually get the country of origin as part of the cigar's brand name. As said before, different climate, soil, and sunlight take a major role in determining the tobacco flavor and sweetness.